Police are encouraging residents in Dumbarton and the Vale to remain vigilant and to look out for potential bogus callers preying on vulnerable neighbours.

Cops are warning the community to be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly, to keep their doors locked, use the door viewer or a nearby window when answering the door and to fit a door chain or bar and use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.

If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door, don’t feel embarrassed - genuine callers expect you to be careful and only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.

You should also always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them.

Identity cards can be faked, so phone the company to verify their identity.

Inspector Mo Boyle of West Dunbartonshire Community Policing Team said: “We would encourage everyone to be vigilant.

"Bogus callers, rogue traders and doorstep criminals are cunning, creative, and often very convincing.

"Anyone can be fooled as these people are professional con artists.

"These criminals can be very convincing and often specifically target the older or vulnerable members of our communities.

“Our advice is simple - just politely say no and close your door.

“We are asking everyone to follow our doorstep safety advice, to please look out for neighbours, pass this information to family and friends, and to report anything that appears suspicious.”

Further information and guidance is available at scotland.police.uk/…/p…/doorstep-crime-and-bogus-callers.

Suspicious activity and criminality should be reported immediately to Police Scotland by calling 101.

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Information on those involved in doorstep crime can also be passed to CrimeStoppers by calling 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be maintained.